Yeah, so I did give up drinking as my New Year’s Resolution. I finally figured it’s time to kick it to the curb and go American History X on it. Wow that got racist fast.
Anyway, it’s been 6 days so I finally just decided, hey, I can do just one glass of wine. I deserve it for reasons xyz (REASONS INCLUDING THAT I GOT A REAL JOB FINALLY). And for the record I’ve been nursing this one glass for the past hour. But as I’ve been drinking this, and really wanting another glass/the whole bottle, it made me realize something: I can’t find passion without altering my brain, whether that’s smoking or drinking or whatever.
Basically, I’ve been a borderline addict since high school when I did a lot of pills blah blah blah and then I turned 21 and it was all downhill from there. Despite being depressed for the majority of my life, the one thing that kept me passionate about anything would be that little high I would get when doing something while under the influence. Whether or not I was good at something, if I was a little buzzed, I found happiness and content with what I was doing. I remember when I was living in Maryland and I had started hooping (and was terrible at it), I would come home from work a little buzzed and it didn’t even matter, I could hoop for hours to the point I would have to stop myself and remember that I had to get up early the next morning. I went to class with my daily cocktail of coffee, Bailey’s and vodka and was completely fascinated by my 8:30am class (for the record, I scored a B in that class while everyone else either failed or barely passed). I ran harder at the gym than I’ve ever ran after watering down my coffee after therapy with more Bailey’s and vodka. There is no kind of passion like I had then.
After moving, I didn’t really drink much for a while. Mostly because the slight altitude didn’t make it hard for me to get tipsy and I got the worst hangovers (I’m 23 and have never puked the day after drinking until a few months ago. Never again. I think I died because I’m a cat). But after a while, and my last job stressed me out so much, my tolerance skyrocketed and I didn’t not have a drink or 2 or 3 or more for months. Especially while being unemployed? There’s nowhere I would have to be the next day, I had time for a hangover. And for a while it was great. Get drunk every night. Write, play guitar and scream Adele songs horribly, hoop, play with my levi wand. And then pass out peacefully and gratefully. There’s no harder sleep than after drinking a bottle of wine.
Why are drugs so good? They make everything better. I love better. Sex is better. Even a puff of nicotine feels better. I have the energy of a thousand 5 year olds. I feel infinite. I can do anything and I don’t have a single f**k to give. It gives me the freedom to frolic around my apartment in my underwear and scream off my balcony in my bare feet despite that there’s snow on the ground and it’s 5 degrees outside (yeah that totally did happen).
But let’s be honest, despite these remarkable highs I get from it, is it worth it? Is it worth the pain I’ve caused myself and the people around me? No, it isn’t. The last serious relationship I was in ended with me drunkenly screaming over the phone at him and then crying hysterically to my roommate at the time about what a dumbass I was. I still regret that and I still feel bad about it because he really was a good guy. Then one thing lead to another and I ended up with Blob because I just didn’t care. And, well, we all know how that ended.
And alcoholism is hard. Like, really hard. No one trusts you because you can’t make promises. It’s hard to get close to anyone because you can’t remember any of the late night conversations you had with them. Alcoholism consumes everything you’ve ever known. You lose yourself and your life to this dangerous yet seductive lover named Alcohol.
I can’t really put it any better than how Caroline Knapp states in her memoir Drinking: A Love Story:
“And that’s how it works. Active alcoholics try and active alcoholics fail. We make the promises and we really do try to stick with them and we keep ignoring the fact that we can’t do it, keep rationalizing the third drink, or the fourth or fifth. Just today. Bad day. I deserve a reward. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”
Some of us really do try. We know as we’re drinking our third or fourth glass of wine that we are literally killing ourselves. We know we need to stop. We want to. But it’s just not that easy. I want to make promises but I know now that I can’t keep them. “Just today, one drink, that’s it, I promise.” It’s never just one glass. Never let an alcoholic let you believe they’ll only have one glass. That first glass is just so good. It’s warm and comforting. Smooth and wonderful and leaving you wanting more and more… and then you wake up the next day next to an empty bottle, full of regrets, your body aching. And you think to yourself, “why did I let myself give in?” Because alcohol is an abusive lover. It whisks you away for a night with its irresistible taste and charm, only to leave you to wake up alone and broken again.
I started this post last night while drinking my “one” glass of wine. Needless to say, the bottle is empty and I woke up to a voicemail from my dad that my Grandpa had passed away this morning. I had promised my dad on Christmas that I would email him. I didn’t. This morning I scrolled through my inbox and realized I hadn’t contacted him since October. Alcohol has made me a selfish person. Every week leading up to this, my dad would call me to ask if I would fly out to Massachusetts to visit him and I just couldn’t because I was/am depressed and didn’t want to be around something that would just make me more depressed. I was so wrapped up in my own world of feeling bad for myself that I wouldn’t even make the time to write a short email to my dying grandpa. My mom called me, crying her eyes out over the phone, and I couldn’t even cry. Too hungover. Too wrapped up in myself again.
I won’t make promises. I want to, I really do. All I can do is take it one day at a time.
RIP Grandpa E. I’ll finally write that email. I’m sorry.
*Please no comments about the end of this. I don’t need sympathy. Thanks.